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  • Joe Breitfeller

Alexandre de Juniac to Step Down as Director General and CEO of IATA, Willie Walsh to Take Over

The International Air Transport Association has announced that Alexandre de Juniac will step down as Director General and CEO of IATA effective March 31, 2020. He will be succeeded by airline industry veteran Willie Walsh, the former CEO of IAG.

IATA Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac - Courtesy IATA

On Monday (November 23, 2020), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, will step down effective March 31, 2021. Mr. de Juniac previously served as Chairman and CEO of the Air France-KLM Group and joined IATA in September 2016. Mr. de Juniac made his intention to step down to the organization several months ago, to enable a thorough search process and smooth leadership transition. At IATA's 76th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 24, 2020, the Board of Governors will recommend the appointment of former International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) CEO, Willie Walsh, as the organization's eighth Director General. In Monday’s announcement, IATA’s current CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said,

“I did not come to this decision lightly. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve the global air transport industry—what I call the business of freedom—as the head of IATA. Over the last years IATA has strategically increased its relevance as the voice of the global airline industry. This has been evident in the COVID-19 crisis. IATA has set the course to restore air connectivity amid the pandemic with systematic pre-departure testing. We are well into preparations to fulfil critical vaccine distribution needs. In parallel, we have restructured IATA to survive the crisis and be ready to support the industry recovery with an organization dimensioned to serve a smaller industry. And we have a motivated team that is determined to get the job done. The building blocks for an industry recovery are in place. And now is the right time to hand over IATA’s leadership for the long process of recovery.” Also commenting on the planned succession, IATA’s Board of Governors’ Chair and Lufthansa CEO, Carsten Spohr added,

“Alexandre has led our industry in extraordinary times. Under his leadership IATA has become a stronger and an even more relevant organization. I am joined by all the members of the Board of Governors in thanking him for his service and wishing him well in his next endeavors. I am also pleased that we are able to present a very capable candidate to the 76th IATA AGM to succeed Alexandre in this important role. I am convinced that Willie will be a great Director General for IATA.”

The International Air Transport Association represents some 290 airlines worldwide, who represent approximately 82 percent of global air traffic.

Source: IATA

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